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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Select the Right Interior Design College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Chino CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chino CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Chino California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Chino CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Chino California interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Chino CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Chino CA school you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Chino CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Chino CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chino CA colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.